Gary Holt on Replacing Jeff Hanneman in Slayer: 'I'm Just Keeping His Seat Warm'

Exodus guitarist discusses replacing Jeff Hanneman for the past two years and the possibility of joining Slayer permanently.

Ultimate Guitar

Current Slayer replacement guitarist and one of the Exodus founding members, Gary Holt, recently reached the subject of his ongoing gig with Slayer and the possibility of taking part in the band's new album recording sessions.

"I'm playing with a lot of old friends - I've been best friends with those guys forever - so it wasn't, like, 'Oh, you're going in and playing with Slayer'; I never viewed it like that. I'm just doing something different and it's kind of cool and I get to go out and play some songs I've always loved. It's fun and we have a good time," the guitarist said in an interview with the Age Of Metal.

When asked whether he will participate in the recording process for the next Slayer album, Holt started off by saying he has "no idea."

"I have no idea. We're just all hoping Jeff gets better. I'm just keeping his seat warm until he's ready come back and bring the pain."

As far as the band itself goes, you could say there's been a lot of drama among the Slayer ranks in the past several weeks. After firing longtime drummer Dave Lombardo from Australian tour, guitarist Kerry King even mentioned the possibility of Holt permanently replacing Hanneman, saying he would be "OK with that."

Jeff Hanneman hasn't performed with Slayer since he contracted a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis from a spider bite over two years ago. In the previous update of his condition, the group has stated that they are still uncertain of him coming back.

As far as Holt's work with Exodus goes, the guitarist has announced the new album as "brutal," adding that he is "writing really angry stuff."

"It's gonna be brutal. They all are, though, but we try to do something a little bit different each time out while maintaining our identity, and this one will be no different. I'm certainly writing really angry stuff."

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15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I would much rather he replaces Kerry King when Jeff returns.
    Saw Exodus last week and they were tearing it up. Gary Holt has an awesome guitar tone that just ****ing rips.
    If he would replace Kerry King when Jeff returns then that would be fine by me. Nothing against the guy, but Jeff and Gary are much better guitarists.
    holt , careful man, , beer gut, we all have it, loose some weight dude, health and family first, then guitar.